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Eating New Orleans Ice Cream


Jason Perlow
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NOTE: This topic is part of the Eating New Orleans series.

Angelo Brocato Ice Cream

214 N. Carrolton Ave.

New Orleans, LA

504-486-0078

http://www.angelobrocatoicecream.com

Angelo Brocato looks like it would be completely at home in Manhattan's Little Italy or on Arthur Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx. But it's not -- its on one of the busiest streets in New Orleans' Midcity district. The ice cream parlor opened in 1905 in the French Quarter, where Croissant D'Or Patisserie resides now. It moved to its current location in the 1970's.

The Gelato is outstanding. We went on two occassions -- at 10:25 at night, 5 minutes before closing on a Saturday, the place was packed and people were still on line. During the day, during lunchtime, the place is a lot less crowded.

We didn't have a chance to try any of their pastries. Again, too little time, too many places to eat at.

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Creole Creamery

4924 Prytania St.

504-894-8680

Creole Creamery is Uptown in the Garden District, in the same Prytania Street food pocket as Upperline and Crepe Nanou.It occupies the former McKenzie Bakery space, which laid dormant for a number of years before Jim MacPhaille purchased the building and completely restored it.

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Creole Creamery makes all of its ice creams in house, and has some pretty wild flavor combinations, as you can see on the chalkboard photograph. Don't overlook their sorbets, they are great as well.

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Here is the main dining area, just prior to the afternoon rush. 10 minutes later the entire place was packed with kids and parents.

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Creole Creamery is one of the few places you can still get a true Nectar Soda, which was popular in New Orleans during the 1930s-1950s. It's similar to a New York Egg Cream, except that instead of chocolate, the syrup is a Almond/Vanilla flavor and is pink in color. I happened to enjoy the simple pleasure of having this with Creole Creamery's plain vanilla ice cream, which was excellent.

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Sophie's

1912 Magazine St.

504-561-0291

Sophie's has been fully decked out as a 1950's style ice cream shop.

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We ordered two mini scoop samplers and their flavors are excellent -- I particularly liked their Strawberry, Chocolate and their Peanut Butter flavors.

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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FYI, Sophies had a Strawberry and a Strawberry Shortcake flavors, the regular strawberry was best. Excellent chocolate, nicely tart lemon sorbet, great special of Carrot Cake flavor. Of the three we visited, Brocato's was probably our favorite, but it gets incredibly crowded in there at night. However, they are remodeling, and should therefore have more seating soon. I really liked Sophie's as well, Creole Creamery was good, but the ice cream was better fresh at the store than the to go pints we brought back to the room.

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  • 4 months later...

On Oct. 23, NPR ran a report on Angelo Brocato's:

Owner's Debate Fate of Century-Old Bakery

It sound like the Brocato brothers haven't decided what they will do. Let's hope that they reopen.

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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It makes me want to cry hearing that, Todd. It was only 4 or so months ago that we shared ice cream there -- never in my mind did I ever think it might very well be my last time.

Rachel made fun of me for wanting to go back there more than twice during that last trip. Now I wonder if I really should have.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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On a happier ice cream note-Creole Creamery is up and running, doing land office business in a neighborhood that is just barely open (it is in an old McKenzie's cattycornered across the lot from Upperline). I stopped in last night to pick up some stuff on the way home from a dinner I was attending(coincidentally at the home of the truly lovely woman who wrote the linked piece). They were really busy but happily still had some honey lavender ice cream. That stuff is subtle and delicious. For those of you who are heading to Upperline, I highly reccomend this place as a second dessert after a fine dinner. After all, you can't have too many desserts.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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For those of you who are heading to Upperline, I highly reccomend this place as a second dessert after a fine dinner.

Brooks, has Upperline re-opened?

EDIT: Its Opening November 2, according to Joanne's outgoing voicemail.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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On a happier ice cream note-Creole Creamery is up and running, doing land office business in a neighborhood that is just barely open (it is in an old McKenzie's cattycornered across the lot from Upperline).

I'm still kicking myself for not stopping in for an ice cream Saturday night. I was pretty stuffed from dinner at Kyoto (the wait was too long at Crepe Nanou), but I could have found room. Of course, they were already starting to clean-up, so I might have been too late no matter what.

I wouldn't call that neighborhood "barely open." All of Uptown is packed. There was more traffic in my old Lower Garden District 'hood than I've seen since Mardi Gras. Everyone kept calling the Uptown the bubble, or "fake land." At least last weekend, if you never left Uptown things might feel almost normal. Everywhere I went, I bumped into people I knew. They all looked a little shell-shocked, I will say.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Dude, take the time to do a careful count of businesses that are open, and then, in the evening, drive all round uptown and tell me how many houses are actually occupied. You might be suprised. It's not dead, and it's slowly coming back up there, but it is hardly normal. I sat on a porch last night for an hour on Constance, and the only thing that passed, the only thing, was a humvee full of national guard guys driving very slowly. They were bored and stopped and chatted for a while. Nice guys from Lafayette.It was pretty busy downtown though. Really fun seeing everyone out in costume.

A number of places are opening up, foodwise though. Restaurants are doing booming business right now. It's kind of nice to go out to eat after all of this, and people are making that choice though many of them could be cooking at home-though that's kind of complicated as grocery shopping sucks-crowded, complicated, and not enough of what you want if you go at the end of the day.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Dude, take the time to do a careful count of businesses that are open, and then, in the evening, drive all round uptown and tell me how many houses are actually occupied. You might be suprised. It's not dead, and it's slowly coming back up there, but it is hardly normal. I sat on a porch last night for an hour on Constance, and the only thing that passed, the only thing, was a humvee full of national guard guys driving very slowly.

My rough estimate was that 75% of businesses are still closed. It's true that the Irish Channel felt vacant. We drove by to check a friends house on Constance, and the only signs of life were at Parasol's. It was packed.

We stayed near the park, and my sense was that 1/3 of the houses were occupied. That number will probably jump dramatically this week, because a lot of law firms are returning to their offices.

I guess Uptown didn't feel normal, but it felt like a place where you could live again. Being there this weekend certainly made me want to find a way to get back to NOLA. I hadn't seen the city since the last week in September, and the change was pretty dramatic.

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Some offices on campus at TU are due to open up next week, so there should be additional daily traffic in the University area; I'm looking forward to a lunch at Kyoto or Ninja, with a stop at creole creamery, too. My Brocato's connection says that they will almost certainly reopen, but it will take quite some time for the family to marshall its resources & begin to replace equipment, etc. Perhaps a closure as long as a year...

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  • 5 months later...

Sophie's, BTW, is open again, with a new owner.

Her name is Gee Mercadel, who was a Blaxploitation actress known as Janee Michelle in the 1970's. She was in "Blacula Lives Again" and "Buffalo Soldiers" among other things and she was in a lot of TV shows in the 70's as well. The ice cream is really kickass and she's got a fun personality and will talk your head off. I have a podcast with her that I hope to post over the next few weeks.

Creole Creamery is also open and the ice cream is as great as ever.

Brocato's is totally shuttered and boarded up. No news of any progress.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 2 months later...

Sophie's Gelato Parlor is exactly 4 blocks up the street from my house here on the mean streets of the Lower Garden District in Federally Occupied New Orleans. It is a place of solace and goodness for many in my neighborhood and a destination for people from other parts of Gnarlins and the world. I love Sophie's. Alot. Crazy love. Love so deep and so true that it hurts to even think about it.

Sure, I forsake her occasionally (I'm like that) and go to Creole Creamery, but that's usually because I am up in the middle part of Uptown and it's just a handy stop. I'll eat it, and I'll like it, but, always, I come back to Sophie's. I don't know if she loves me, but I surely and truly love her.

Today, on the advice of my friend Brett, who just wrote this fine piece about ice cream in our little outpost on the Gulf of Mexico, I enjoyed a new combo-Creole Cream Cheese gelato topped by a little Orange gelato-a creamsicle beyond all others. Yowza it was some tasty. In fact, as I was sitting on one of the little ice cream shop type chairs out on Magazine, waiting out a much needed and appreciated afternoon thunderstorm, I decided that it was so delicious, so perfect in it's creamy goodness, that I traipsed proudly back through the door and had another-except this time it was Creole Cream Cheese and Lemon. It was just as good, no diminishing returns at all, but it was not quite as familiar as the Creamsicle flavor combo.

If you come here, and you don't go, you are either someone who doesn't like ice cream or, possibly, someone who just makes pretty bad decisions on a regular basis. It's that good and, for those of you that are convinced that "dropping some money" in New Orleans is helpful to our recovery (it is, of course) drop a few bucks on Lower Magazine at Sophie's Gelato. You could do worse.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had to drive down Carrollton this morning out to UNO and passed by Brocato's and they are indeed working on the place! Of course, the rest of that part of Carrollton is pretty damned depressing (no news there, this whole place is depressing once you leave the comfortable environs of the miracle strip along the levee), but it will be great to get some ice cream, some cannoli, and what was and will be again the best cup of espresso in New Orleans.

I took some pics, but have no usb chord here at work. I'll get them up sometime tonight.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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